At the time it seemed like a good idea.

‘Are you sure mummy that this is going to work?’ Alula asked sceptically.

‘Of course,’ I told her, contemplating the cardboard box that I’d strangled with parcel tape. ‘It’ll be fine. I’ve bubble wrapped it all. And I wrote FRAGILE on the side of the box.’

Alula frowned. And we watched as the nice man at Ubud post office carted off the box containing her entire collection of Lego including a cruise ship, Veterinary office, bakery, stables, pooch parlour and ice cream stand, and tossed it into the international shipping pile.

I contemplated the forty quid it had just cost us to post it to the UK and patted myself on the back. Considering a Lego set costs roughly the equivalent of a three bed town house in south London it was certainly cheaper than re-buying it all when we got back, and there was no way I was giving up valuable clothes space in the luggage for Olivia and friends.

CUT TO: three months later….


CUT TO: four months later…


‘Why not pretend that an earthquake hit your Lego Town and now they have to rebuild it? Only, you get to be the architect this time?!’

‘NO! It needs to be rebuilt exactly like it was.’

‘That might be impossible.’

CUT TO: five months later…

Alula is staring mournfully into the plastic coffin that contains her roughly 5 million Lego pieces – the sad remains of what was once a gleaming, pristine Lego world. She pulls out a random Lego dolphin and a fragment of roof.

‘I’m so sad about my Lego mummy.’

CUT TO: six months later…

‘What are you doing Alula?’

She has clambered onto the kitchen worktop by the hob. Last time she did this her knee knocked the gas knob and we only found out about it six hours later when John caught my hand just as I reached for the light switch.

‘I’m writing in the calendar,’ Alula announces.

I peer closer. ‘What’s THE GREAT REBUILD?’ I ask. ‘And why is Daddy doing this every weekend for the next three weeks?’

Alula looks at me over her shoulder and grins.

Poor John. Poor, poor John.

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